Viking Line's Viking Grace Passenger Ferry, Finland
Viking Grace is a passenger and car ferry being constructed to operate along the Turku - Aland Islands (Finland) - Stockholm (Sweden) route on the Baltic Sea. When commissioned in 2013, she will be the world's most environmentally-friendly and most energy efficient passenger ship of her size. She will have a gross registered tonnage of 57,000t.
The ferry will be owned and operated by Viking Line, a Finland-based ferry operator. STX Finland, which is a part of the international shipbuilding group STX Europe, is building the vessel for an estimated cost of €240m.
Finish interior architecture firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co is responsible for designing and outfitting the vessel's interior areas. Propulsion machinery for the new ferry will be supplied by Wärtsilä. Energy management systems will be supplied by ABB.
Details of Viking Line and STX Finland's agreement
Viking Line and STX Finland signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the construction of the new passenger ferry in October 2010. The deal was finalised two months later after receiving environmental clearance from the Finish Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The construction contract includes an agreement for the construction of another ship of similar type.
Construction works on the new ship commenced in September 2011 at STX Europe's shipyard in Turku, located in the region of Finland Proper.
The keel laying ceremony was held at the shipyard in March 2012 and the ferry is scheduled to be introduced in January 2013. Approximately 14,000t of steel will be used in the ship's construction.
Custom design for the Viking Grace passenger ferry
Viking Grace has been especially designed to cruise in the tenuous and shallow waters of the Finnish and Swedish archipelago. The ferry's hull has been hydro-dynamically optimised to induce the lowest possible swells, which is very crucial when transiting through an archipelago.
The vessel will be equipped with Wärtsilä's dual-fuel technology. This will allow her to sail on three alternative fuels: the traditional heavy fuel oil, diesel or liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is the most economical and environmentally fit fuel solution.
The dual-fuel engines will be operated and run on LNG. As a result, the emission of nitrogen oxide will be 80% less than the IMO's (International Maritime Organisation) existing specified level. In addition, Viking Grace's engine will emit more than 90% less particulate matter than the diesel engines.
Modern soundproofing technology will be used to keep the noise level at the lowest possible levels. Another innovative feature of the vessel is the use of light-emitting diode (LED) lights for entertainment aboard the vessel. These consume less electricity than the conventional halogen and arc lamps.
The length of the vessel's cargo lanes will be 1.275km, and half a kilometre will be reserved for passenger cars on hoistable deck four. In addition, there will be an extra space of half a kilometre on deck five, also for cars.
Cabin types aboard Viking Line's Finnish ferry
Viking Line's new build ferry will have the capacity to accommodate 2,800 passengers in 880 cabins. All the passenger cabins will be fitted out on decks five through nine and will be installed with advanced TVs, radios and hair dryers.
The number of cabins furnished with a double bed will be more than 170. Passengers staying in seaside cabins will be able to view the sea through large windows. Inside cabins will be located on the other side of the corridor with outside cabins.
Premium cabins (total 48), located on decks seven, eight and nine, will be provided with a double bed and a sofa which can be used as a bed. Located on deck six, family cabins (inside and outside) will offer accommodation for families with children.
Wärtsilä engines on the LNG-fuelled passenger vessel
Viking Grace will be powered by four gas-fuelled Wärtsilä 8L50DF main engines. In order to achieve highest propulsive efficiency and greater vibration control, the vessel will be fitted with a pair of stainless steel fixed pitch propellers. Side thrusters include transverse bow and stern tunnel thrusters.